Toward a General Theory of Occupational Regulation

Graddy, Elizabeth
December 1991
Social Science Quarterly (University of Texas Press);Dec91, Vol. 72 Issue 4, p676
Academic Journal
Interest group theories dominate academic explanations of regulatory decisions; yet legislators argue, and the public believe, that regulation is in the public interest. This work explores the roles of the public interest and interest groups in the adoption of occupational regulation. A model is developed that defines the preferences of the general public and of organized groups in this regulation. Estimation on five occupations reveals evidence of the effectiveness of organized interest groups, and of the importance of the legislative environment within which these interest groups operate to their success. In addition, the public interest is found to effect regulatory outcomes. This empirical support for a pluralistic theory suggests that efforts to model occupational regulation without sufficient attention to either the public interest or the legislative environment represent an important misspecification.


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